Unleashing people power: “Employee Race to Zero” launches

Employees play a critical role in reducing pollution and tackling the climate crisis, through their work and influence. This year, Race to Zero and Giki are teaming up to host the first ever “Employee Race to Zero”. Here, we outline why taking climate action as an employee is critical – and how you get involved in this new initiative.  By Climate Champions | October 26, 2023

The urgency of the climate crisis is irrefutable. Climate is becoming relevant in every single aspect of our societies and economies – making nearly every job on earth, a climate job. Research from climate change research firm, Kite Insights reaffirms this new reality, finding that 83 percent want to take action on climate change through their jobs.

With this in mind, Race to Zero, in collaboration with Giki, is proud to announce the first “Employee Race to Zero”. The initiative hopes to shine a spotlight on the multiple ways employees can accelerate climate action within their organizations. Participants will benefit from Giki’s award-winnng platform and programme for businesses and employees – from SMEs through to large, global organizations – which offers over 160 ways to reduce carbon footprints. They can also access a comprehensive science-based carbon calculator, leaderboards, and impact data to celebrate those winning the Race.

In addition, employees will be able to use The Drawdown Labs Job Function Action Guides as an another helpful resource for sector-specific guidance on high-impact climate actions employees in common corporate professions can take at work. Covering finance, legal, procurement, sales and more, the guides demonstrate that employees are key to a company’s success in meeting their net zero targets and making progress against their climate transition plans.

Commenting on the Employee Race to Zero, Race to Zero’s Director Ramiro Fernandez said the initiative was, “an amazing opportunity to help employees learn what they can do for the planet and join a global competition for a fun, focused month of climate action”. 

join the Employee Race to Zero!

Beyond specifc actions such as reducing our food waste, changing banks or switching to renewable energy providers, employees can play a powerful advocacy role. As our 5th P (Persuade) ally, ClimateVoice points out, ambitious climate policy is needed to solve the climate crisis – and employees can hold significant influence in corporate climate policy positions. In its 2023 CxO Sustainability Report, Deloitte reiterates this, finding more that than half of C-suite executives say employee activism on climate had led their organizations to increase sustainability actions over the past year (24 percent saying it led to a “significant” increase).

To recognize the role of employee advocates, ClimateVoice has recently launched their ‘Climate Action at Work – a guide for employee advocates’. This helpful guide encourages employees to:

  1. Get the facts: understand their companies’ stance on climate;
  2. Find your influence: map the key influencers and decision makers (e.g., government affairs teams) and define the case for change;
  3. Engage your co-workers: host events or start a working or employee resource group; and
  4. Advocate for action: craft an effective proposal and debrief after the pitch.

Overall, employees have the power to influence their role at work, to contribute to climate through individual action, and to get their companies off the sidelines in critical public policy debates. Race to Zero is proud to be showcasing the work of our Accelerator Giki, as well as Project Drawdown, and ClimateVoice, who are all moving us faster on the Employee Race to Zero.

join the race to zero

Race to Zero

Google CSO Kate Brandt: In 2023, terms like “carbon footprint”, “charging station” and “solar energy” reached all-time highs

Google Chief Sustainability Officer, Kate Brandt explains why a CSO’s daily work is no longer simply confined to decarbonizing a businesses. For Google this means empowering individuals, businesses, organizations and governments with quality information through products and platforms, and by helping drive systems change to accelerate climate action.